by Abe Schwadron / @abe_squad
In what was billed as a matchup of two potential top-10 NBA Draft pick guards in Duke’s Austin Rivers and Washington’s Terrence Ross, the Blue Devils took control early and never looked back. Duke held a double-digit lead for the first 35 minutes of the game, and while the UW faithful saw hope when the Huskies cut the deficit to eight with a three minutes to play—and Rivers and Seth Curry fouled out within a minute of each other—but the Dukies held on for an 86-80 victory to improve to 9-1.
Rivers scored 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting to lead Duke before fouling out, while Ross dropped 16 in the L. Tony Wroten led the way for the Huskies with 23, and was the offensive catalyst for most of the afternoon. Perhaps the biggest news for Washington (4-4) coming out of this one was an injury to Aziz N’Diaye, starting center and Senegalese import who provided the beef up front. It’s being called a “sprained knee” and the Huskies don’t play again until Friday, at which point we’ll know how serious the injury really is.
For a matchup of two teams with few New York City ties, the atmosphere at Madison Square Garden for game one of the CarQuest Auto Parts Classic was pretty intense. Especially when UW went to the “hack-a-Plumlee” strategy, much to the crowd’s delight.